HC seeks UoI's stand on review plea concerning Muslim husband's discretion to give divorce
The Supreme Court had in August 2017 held that the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is illegal and unconstitutional.Later, The Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Act, 2019 came into being which makes the practice of instant divorce through triple talaq among Muslims a punishable offence.
The Delhi High Court Friday sought Centre's stand on a plea seeking the review of its order dismissing a challenge to the "assumed absolute discretion" of a Muslim husband to give divorce (talaq-ul-Sunnat) to his wife at any time without any reason and notice to her. A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Centre on the review petition which has urged the court to "examine the correctness" of the order dated September 23. The matter would be heard on January 12 next year. While dismissing the challenge to talaq-ul-Sunnat, the bench had said the petition was completely misconceived and there was no merit in it as Parliament has already enacted a law in this regard.
"We do not find any merit in this petition since Parliament has already intervened and enacted the aforesaid enactment/Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. The petition is, accordingly, dismissed," the bench had said.
The bench had noted that the apprehension of the petitioner woman was that her husband would divorce her by resorting to Talaq-ul-Sunnat.
"In our view, the petition was completely misconceived in the light of the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, and in particular Section 3 thereof," it had said.
As per section 3 of the Act, any pronouncement of 'talaq' by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal.
The petitioner in her plea alleged that the practice is ''arbitrary, anti-Shariat, unconstitutional, discriminatory and barbaric'' and sought that the assumed discretion of the husband to give divorce to his wife at any time be declared as arbitrary.
The plea was filed by a 28-year-old married Muslim woman who said she was deserted by her husband by pronouncing instant 'triple talaq' on August 8 this year and thereafter, she served a legal notice to her husband for restitution of conjugal rights.
The plea said in response to the legal notice, the man denied pronouncement of instant 'triple talaq' and asked the woman to give him divorce within 15 days from the date of receipt of this notice.
The woman said such a type of discretion allegedly practiced by a Muslim husband to give divorce to his wife without any reason is a misuse of process.
The lawyer appearing in the matter had explained that 'Talaq-ul-Sunnat was a revocable form of talaq (divorce) because in this form, the consequences of divorce do not become final at once and there is a possibility of compromise and reconciliation between husband and wife.
However, simply uttering the word 'talaq' three times, ends a Muslim marriage. This instant divorce is called triple talaq and is also known as 'talaq-e-biddat', the lawyer had added. The Supreme Court had in August 2017 held that the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is illegal and unconstitutional.
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